Um, so this happened. Possibly the silliest dolly cake ever. This once blonde Malibu Ken doll was transformed with some creative sharpie-ing, doll hair that looks suspiciously like a jheri curl, and way too much purple. I found purple clinging to the underside of my fingernails days later and cannot for the love of God get Raspberry Beret out of my head. The kind you find in a second hand store...Gah!! Anyway, the birthday boy is a big Prince fan to say the least, so I created this Purple Rain/Artist mash up with the famous trench and flouncy shirt combo (made with a little coconut flake) and finished with silver dusted white chocolate punk studs in the shape of "the symbol." Enjoy!
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
My love of all things Huckleberry is no secret and with Memorial Day coming up this weekend I cannot wait to dip a spoon in whatever Josh and Zoe's newest project, Sweet Rose Creamery, has to offer. Small batch ice creams and sorbets are made daily and carry the same seasonal raison de'tre that Huckleberry and Rustic Canyon have become famous for. The sundaes and banana splits are out of a Norman Rockwell painting, down to the toasted almonds and the necessary cherry on top and I cannot get the idea of earl grey ice cream out of my head. And it looks like I'm supposed to fold more ice cream into my diet, because Sweet Rose Creamery is literally down the street. My stomach rejoices, while my thighs aren't quite on board, but easily coerced. A small sacrifice when a perfect bite is on the line. So if you're in an ice cream or sorbet mood (which is always, right?), come early and get in line. Your stomach will thank you.
The perfect bite of the fudge brownie sundae.
The ubiquitous cherry on top.
This is what a banana split is supposed to look like.
Sunday, May 9, 2010
I've been getting questions about the how-to's of my dolly cakes, so I figured I'd do a little show and tell with how to construct one of these lovelies. My most recent dolly cake was triple fun because a) Dolly got a Rihanna hair cut to match the birthday girl b) McQueen is always fun c) rainbows!
Here's a breakdown on the process:
1) choose a dress and doll. I always hunt down dolls that look like the model on the runway or if requested, the birthday girl.
2) visualize the finished product, and how you're getting there. Redecorating the cake is a massive hassle, and a little forethought will save you a ton of effort. With this McQueen cake, I knew the easiest solution was to paint on black food coloring with a paint brush, and using a tooth pick marble the food coloring in one motion. You don't have to get it exactly right. Just pick out the main elements and get those down, such as color, texture, or one big detail. You're creating an impression, not an exact replica.
3) bake the cake. You need a special dolly cake tin for this, and I have to be honest, scratch cakes are hit or miss because of the depth of the tin. I have some go-to recipes, but after my third attempt has cratered, I relent and pimp out some box mix. If you want to get a little crazy with it, you can tie dye or ombre fade the center by separating the batter and dying it with food coloring. For a fade, use at least 5 different shades.
4) while the cake is cooling, style the doll's hair and get started on the torso. I have used food coloring, cocoa powder, copper wire, crimping iron, glue, icing, and God knows what else to get the hair just so. Adjust the make-up if need be. It's amazing what a sharpie and some face powder can do. With the torso, I almost always use powdered sugar icing, which is just powdered sugar, a touch of water, and dye. For the McQueen cake I hot glue gunned coffee filters I had cut to create the bat wing effect of the sleeve. The texture had a bit of grip so it was perfect for the icing. The final, and worst part, is cutting off the dolls legs at the knees if she's not a doll cake topper. At this point, after primping and dressing her, I've grown attached, and that snip snap is excruciating.
5) Decorate the cake. Stick the doll in the top of the cake and get started. Make whatever frosting you like, careful to keep it cool. When you're working with it the heat can cause the butter to separate, which is an awful greasy mess. Also, if you're using a ton of sprinkles, go easy on the sugar in the frosting. The sprinkles have plenty of sweetness on their own. If you're testing out a technique, try it in the back first where mistakes are easier to mask. I take a break halfway through if I can, just so I can come back at it with fresh eyes. My sister has walked in and asked, "What the hell is that?" in the midst of my frosting fueled delirium, and I always end up agreeing with her.
6) It's done and your kitchen looks like a train hit it! At least it does if you're me. Take a break and then hit those dishes and a glass of wine, you deserve it!
7) cut into her skirt and enjoy with a scoop of ice cream!
Monday, May 3, 2010
More like loves. More like obsessed with! I mean, how can you not? I always assumed my love of collecting kitchen chotchkies and vintage cookbooks came from my dad, whose military patch collection and bibliophilia is beyond reason. However, as I looked around my mother's kitchen cupboards and noticed her collection of vintage salt and pepper shakers, and flipped through her early 80s editions of Australian Women's Weekly cookbooks, it dawned on me: I am the product of both of my parents. My dad and I share the nerd gene, so I always saw the avid collection of stuff correlated to the avid collection of knowledge. The difference is that everything my mom collects is put on display, perfectly coordinating with it's surroundings. Her collecting is graceful and fluid, not like dad's three ring binders of patches or my flat file filled with vintage postcards, so its presence is almost imperceptible. Take for instance these John and Jackie wine stoppers, displayed on top of a wine rack in the living room. Completely outrageous and fantastic. They might even swerve into the "tacky" category, but even in ceramic bottle stopper form Jackie Kennedy makes it work. If it was any other icon, Marilyn, John Wayne, Frank Sinatra, it might smack of blatant kitsch, but for some reason these two heads work. Though they do look pretty silly when actually sticking out of a wine bottle. Enjoy!